Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Internet: The Great Equal (And Global) -izer

In a speech featured as a recent TED Talk, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown shows us the power of images to open the human eye to some of the most atrocious tragedies unfolding in the world around us.

There are many images that have, as Brown insists, "awakened the human conscience".

They bring us scenes of political repression, such as the massacre at Tienanmen Square or the murder of Neda by Iranian police.

They bring us scenes of poverty.

They bring us scenes of war.

As Brown tells us, the global reaction to these images demonstrates to us that, in the very spirit of monism, there are central principles that people all around the world can share, regardless of race, creed, culture or religion.

As the internet becomes more and more prevalent in global society, there is no question that these images can traverse the globe faster than ever before, reminding people about the injustices and atrocities taking place in the world, and spurring people to take action.

The internet has brought the injustices and atrocities suffered by even the poorest people in the world to the immediate attention to the rest of us. Not only has the internet proven to be the great globalizer -- with ideas and information crossing the world regardless of the existence of international boundaries -- it has also proven to be a great equalizer.

The emergence of this great ability to mix global communications with a global ethic will almost certainly lead to new pressures on the United Nations to, for nearly the first time since its existence, move beyond petty international politics and move toward addressing the injustices and atrocities that can no longer be hidden from view.

All we need are global leaders who are perceptive and visionary enough to make this a reality.

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